The weekend is upon us and thought to take a break from whiskey education to a tip on whiskey exploration. If you are searching for that one last getaway before the school year/football season blitz, I suggest a whiskey excursion to Asheville. Sure, they are known for a first-class beer scene but there is a whiskey gem hidden downtown…if you dare to find it!
The Crow and Quill…
The progressive city of Asheville has long recognized for its beautiful foliage, Biltmore Estate, and friendly hipster community. No sh*t, I once watched a gothic-dressed lady shopping downtown while proudly wearing an albino python around her neck! The lady was friendly but the soulless snake...very gnarly.
Tourists flock to the by the thousands to America’s Happiest City for serenity, relaxation, and break from the daily grind. Moonshining also has a long history in these parts; the thirst for the hard stuff is engrained in the fabric of its people.
It’s all about discretion.
Tucked away in an unassuming entrance in the city's downtown is the Crow & Quill. Literally, I walked by it twice! An Edgar Allan Poe inspired libation retreat frozen in a time where one might envision the author himself lurking in the shadows. I met up with local Asheville Whiskey Sommeliers Zac and Leanne Smith (www.whiskeysmiths.com) for a fun night of exploration. Yes, they are a dynamic duo whiskey couple…and partial to Scotch so Zac was testing my peat tolerance all night!
Dark wood and vintage posh décor adorn the walls of the Crow & Quill creating on ambiance perfectly conducive for intimate conversations and a good dram. And a horrible spot to take a selfie with no flash! Behind the saloon style bar lies an impressive selection of whiskeys displayed as subtle as the bar advertises. Its best to ask the bartender.
After spending several years as a bartender, owner Casey Campfield set out to create a unique experience that embodied her passion for cocktails and fine whiskies. Mission accomplished. Advertising and brand identity were shunned for the underground crowd searching of a unique experience. Elusive Appalachian Whiskey Retreat? Dead Poet Society Lounge?! Vintage Actor’s Studio Set? Damn good cocktail bar?! You decide...it just works!
Photo (not the best as I was unable to use a flash!): Red Harlot Cocktail. Highly recommend!
The true genius shutters at incompleteness
- imperfection - and usually prefers silence
to saying the something which is not everything
that should be said.
– Edgar Allan Poe
With over 300 whiskey selections, the diverse patron base has plenty of options to accompany this subterranean experience. Hudson Four Grain and Black Maple Hill were the personal stars of this night; flowing gently on the palate during a dimly lit conversation amongst friends. On my way out, I swear there was an odd character tolling a bell…though that might be the whiskey talking…
Suggestions: Fall Fashion Cocktail, Red Harlot Cocktail, Black Maple Hill.
Whiskey Variety: 300
Address: 106 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801 (look carefully!)
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